The Mission of Preservation Chelsea

It is our mission to preserve Chelsea as a village rich with history and charm, reflected by historic buildings, surrounding farmlands, and as found in our beautiful and vibrant village center. We aim to work through education, offering to ourselves and the community the history of Chelsea as well as the issues shaping our future. We intend actively to preserve historic landmarks and to have a voice in all issues that affect any possible de-centralization of our village. It is our intention to pursue this mission with full involvement and input from merchants and citizens of Chelsea and to act in ways that make sense for the preservation of Chelsea's charm and historic integrity while supporting a vibrant and successful downtown.

Federal Screw Works

Federal Screw Works
This property has been under threat of total demolition since 2008--there are historically signficant and architecturally interesting sections that should be preserved!

Jackson Street Panorama

Jackson Street Panorama
The DDA voted at the meeting on 9.20.12 to demolish the Daniels Addition Car Showroom despite the letter from the State Historic Preservation Office. (please read below)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Updated Response, p 13

It is vital that this growth be managed in a positive way that will allow development without disintegration of Chelsea’s sense of place. If left to developers who do not live in Chelsea and who do not have a strong passion for Chelsea’s history, this development could pose a threat to those qualities which have made Chelsea such a desirable community.
People seek exciting places to spend their time, and people are drawn to places occupied by other people. That is as true in Chelsea as in any other community, and the economic and civic center of gravity of Chelsea has been and in our opinion must remain its downtown.
The importance of a downtown goes beyond economics. A downtown holds together a mix of economic, civic, and social functions. It is the place where everyone can meet and interact, where monuments are located, where speeches are made, where parades are held and where crowds are entertained. More than anyplace else, a downtown gives a community its collective identity and thus its pride. It is the keystone that keeps the other pieces of the community in place. Downtown is the heart and soul of the city or village.
Much of the original historic fabric of Chelsea’s downtown has escaped the wrecking ball. But old functions are disappearing and new ones are needed to replace them. About twenty years ago Chelsea’s downtown reinvented itself by creative thinking and entrepreneurial leadership, under the auspices of the Downtown Development Authority. With changing economics, Chelsea must continue to evolve.
Today Chelsea has a mixed-use downtown — retail, residential, professional services, financial services, industrial, government, entertainment, and public services such as the library. Traffic from one of these uses generates traffic for another, helping all functions maintain viability.
A marketing committee currently is working to enhance Chelsea’s attraction as a Destination. Cultural heritage tourism, i.e., traveling to experience the places that authentically represent the stories and people of the past, is the fastest growing segment of tourism. A study currently underway at Michigan State University has found that when a place has preserved and promotes its historic character, it gets more visitors, they stay longer, and they spend more money.
The redevelopment of this Jackson Street corridor will help enhance Chelsea as a destination. With proper promotion, Chelsea can become one of the most sought after day-trip destinations in the state, a model for smaller Michigan cities trying to keep their small-town character in a changing economy. Chelsea can continue to demonstrate that towns with strong, distinctive identities are more likely to prosper than places without them.
The rehabilitation of these three structures must look to the future as well as the present. The choices that are made now must improve our community for the long term. The TCC proposal will help maintain and expand downtown’s mixed use, will preserve the historic character of this corridor, and will go a long way toward ensuring downtown Chelsea’s continued vitality.

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